Alcohol is Actually Worse Than Heroin
You may have heard this before. But we are here to tell it again and this time we are backing it up with numbers. Now we aren’t saying that heroin isn’t bad. Because, well, it is. Really. Bad. Alcohol though? It is worse.
Heroin deaths are on the rise. The 8,260 deaths in 2013 were a 39% jump from the year before and nearly double the 4,400 in 2011 according to the CDC. Every single one of those deaths tore apart a family in some way shape or form. And it left many communities, law officials, activists, and those of us in recovery struggling to find the answer or solution. The heroin problem has been called an epidemic and it is. The almost 10,000 deaths last year makes it one.
Alcohol Kills More People Each Year Than Heroin
But there is another substance out there that is killing 10 times that amount of people every year, which makes it a PANDEMIC. And guess what it is? It is alcohol.
Alcohol killing 89,000 people a year equates to a pandemic. Not only that but it is third leading cause of illness and death in the United States, and wait for it, WORLD.
But alcohol is legal and safe in moderation is what most people perceive. The 226 billion dollar cost of drinking though is the reality. That is the cost of alcohol misuse when looking at lost productivity, healthcare costs, law enforcement and property damage.
So why don’t people care?
We care about a heroin epidemic because it beats having to face the alcohol pandemic. Why look at what, when and how much alcohol is consumed when you have heroin on the streets. Heroin is way easier to hate, and it is much more comfortable to condemn. It is socially acceptable and it sure as heck is not legal.
So basically what we are saying is:
We’ll manhunt and condemn the killer of 8,200 people. But the one who kills 89,000? They get to walk free.
The only difference is one is sold by a sociopathic thug and the other is sold by Walmart, Walgreens, and Total Wine.
And it is kind of hypocritical. We will hold rally’s for naloxone and then throw our drunken parades and weekend long drink fests the next day.
“In one year, there are slightly more than 84,000 visits to emergency rooms in the U.S. due to heroin. That’s about 1 every seven minutes. There is an alcohol-related hospital admission every 30 seconds and 20-40 percent of general use (non-specialty) hospital beds are used to tend to alcohol-related complications. Heroin addicts aren’t breaking the healthcare system… aging Baby Boomers aren’t pushing it past capacity: Alcohol use is.”
I don’t know what makes people focus on heroin more than alcohol. Actually I do. It a mix of social acceptance, the way it kills people, and the typical brainwashing that goes on in industries that throw 100s of millions of dollars into marketing their product. Wake up people.
As for heroin causing overdose making it appear much scarier lets take a look at this.
- One in eight alcohol-related deaths is from a car wreck.
- One in 40 is from alcohol poisoning (as noted in a related overdose article). The majority of alcohol-related deaths are far from the instant the alcohol is used.
- Most alcohol-related death comes in the form of homicide, accidental injury, drug interactions, heart disease (a related article demonstrates alcohol doesn’t prevent it, it causes it), stroke (1 in 5 is alcohol-related), cirrhosis and more than 60 other diseases… including cancer. The “C-word.”
- Alcohol IS a known carcinogen.
In either case, doctors have stated that no amount of either substance is safe. But people tend to take that to heart when concerned with heroin since most of the population will never see the substance, but they’ll ignore the warning when it comes to the beverage as seen on TV ads or enjoyed with meals.
The wake up call here isn’t about repeating the past either. I am not saying that we should and I don’t think anyone is, that we should make alcohol illegal. I am just saying that we should acknowledge the fact that YES there is a heroin epidemic but there is ALSO an alcohol PANDEMIC happening—that has never really been addressed at all. Alcohol misuse is a preventable death. What are we doing? How are we talking about? What questions are we asking? What solutions are we finding? What can we change about our own understandings and/or misguided ideas?
Think about it.